Israel and Bahrain to Establish ‘Full Diplomatic Relations,’ Trump Says

September 11, 2020 Updated: September 11, 2020

President Donald Trump on Friday announced a deal between Israel and Bahrain to normalize relations in a bid for peace in the Middle East.

“The second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days,” he wrote on Twitter. Last month, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to normalize relations between it and Israel.

“Another historic breakthrough today!” Trump wrote, adding: “Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal.”

The move represents another diplomatic victory for Trump, who has branded himself a peacemaker and has sought to end U.S. involvement in foreign wars—coming two months before the November election.

For decades, a number of Arab nations have boycotted Israel, saying they would establish ties if its Palestinian dispute were settled.

Trump announced the agreement on Friday, following a three-way phone call he had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The three leaders also issued a brief six-paragraph joint statement, attesting to the deal.

“There’s no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than this agreement,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” Trump, Netanyahu, and Bahrain’s King Hamad said in the statement. “Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region.”

Of the Palestinians, their statement said the parties will continue “to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realize their full potential.”

The deal will normalize commercial, security, and diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain.

“This is very fast,” White House adviser Jared Kushner told The Associated Press. “The region is responding very favorably to the UAE deal and hopefully it’s a sign that even more will come.”

The other Arab countries to have normalized relations with Israel are Egypt and Jordan.

Officials said that Bahrain will join a Sept. 14 signing ceremony along with Israel and the UAE at the White House.

The agreement deals a major blow to Palestinian leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who criticized the Israel-UAE deal when it was signed last month.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the deal.

“Citizens of Israel, I am excited to inform you that tonight we will reach another peace agreement with another Arab country, Bahrain,” Netanyahu said, according to the Times of Israel. “This follows the historic peace agreement with the UAE. It took us 26 years to get from the second peace agreement with an Arab state to the third peace agreement, and it took us not 26 years but 29 days to reach the peace agreement between the third Arab state and the fourth Arab state, and there will be more.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.